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Things fall apart? Missions, institutions, and interpersonal trust

Dozie Okoye

Journal of Development Economics, 2021, vol. 148, issue C

Abstract: This paper studies the links between changes in traditional communities, due to historical Christian missionary activities, and differences in interpersonal trust between Africans today. We use various data on Christian missions to show that missions are associated with lower levels of trust within countries formerly under British indirect rule, but increased trust for all other countries. This result is robust to a variety of confounders and fixed ethnic characteristics. Using data on native prisons and prisoners in Nigeria, and Pew surveys in Africa, we demonstrate that the negative effects may be explained by weakened traditional institutions, norms, and beliefs, due to missionary activities under indirect rule.

Keywords: Trust; Culture; Institutions; Missions; Colonization; Indirect Rule; Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N30 N37 N47 O15 Z12 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:deveco:v:148:y:2021:i:c:s0304387820301437

DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2020.102568

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